It’s 9:10am, my son is eating breakfast, finally. Not “finally” because he won’t eat…but because I couldn’t pull myself out of bed. he’s been up since 7:15. Because of technology, he’s able to watch a show while snuggling with mom (something he loves), while I can sleep longer and know he won’t move. I finally got out of bed solely because he was having a tantrum because my phone suddenly wouldn’t work. At all. Siri, the dumb robot, worked. Not well, obviously, but that was it. A touch phone is useless if you can’t actually TOUCH anything. I have a screaming headache, my husband is gone for another 6 days on his business trip, I have no time for my work, I’ve only left the house in three weeks to feed my son and get groceries…I haven’t even talked to my mom in weeks. I’m in a bad mood and angry. Again.
No. I lied. I leave to go to meetings. What used to annoy me and feel like I wasted gas half the time (this is why we have Zoom!) now feels like a welcome vacation. I put on makeup, I fix my hair, I wear real clothes…I talk to an adult!! Sometimes the meetings go “longer than I intended”, but truth be told it’s because I don’t want to go home. But that means I have to pay a sitter. By not having much time to work right now, I kinda feel like I’m robbing Peter to pay Paul.
I’m rambling a bit, but I feel like I have to paint the picture…this is normal for me. I’m too tired to go anywhere, I’m too tired to DO anything, I yell a lot, and we watch way more TV than I’m comfortable with. I work until 2 and 3am because after 9 is the only time the house is quiet and I can focus, but that means I average no more than 5 hours of sleep a night. My house is a disaster because I just don’t have the energy to care, and we eat out way more than we should because when my son is actually taking a good nap, I don’t dare get up from the computer lest my eating causes my son to instinctively know I’m taking a break.
I was an amazing teacher, and a fantastic nanny. Two years after I stopped nannying, the kids not only remembered me but requested I come over while they were back in the states. Innumerable parents have come up to me, 15 years after the fact, and say “My kid still remembers when you babysat! They loved you! You were always their favorite!” Parents at my preschool were constantly asking if I could sit, or be a part time nanny during summer. I played with them, we made epic messes, we had awesome crafts, they were always fed good food, they went to bed and nap on time, we went on adventures, and the house was always clean when the parents came back.
My son has never had any of that from me.
I feel like I’m failing him because even though I use techniques to teach him to drink from a cup, eat with a fork, recognize letters and numbers, even sign until he can verbally communicate…I’m not fun. I’m kind of a bitch, to be honest. I always wondered why my mom would yell so much, now all I do is yell. There are days I just don’t even want to be around him.
It’s not his fault, he’s brilliant and beautiful and inquisitive and everything a toddler SHOULD be. But instead of reveling in the fact that I now have a constant playmate to build forts with and teach the cool science of cornstarch and water…I get irritated he won’t leave the kitchen while I cook. Because he wants to be held.
I love my son beyond words, but I can’t help but feel like maybe I wasn’t supposed to be a mom. Maybe I was just supposed to be the awesome aunt, because my child isn’t getting a quarter of what I gave to other people’s kids for years…and he deserves so much more than that.